All stories by Shekhar Gupta
Why Modi-Shah don't need NDA anymoreRediff.com19 hours ago
In its sway over national politics now, the Modi-Shah BJP is what the Congress was under Indira Gandhi. Why would they indulge coalition partners, their greed and egos now, asks Shekhar Gupta.
The TRP TrapRediff.com6 days ago
'The more the news media weakens, especially at this juncture of economic ruin with lay-offs and wage cuts, the more the owners and journalists weigh their value in terms who they are close to, the more they depend on the State to bail them out of trouble, slow-fry their rival, the faster it pushes us towards institutional destruction,' warns Shekhar Gupta.
Modi's twin test: Vodafone and BiharRediff.com7 days ago
If Modi's truly a reformer and a believer in minimum government, he would bury the Vodafone ghosts now. He would also then go to Bihar, campaigning on his politically controversial reforms. Both will need him to dip deep into his accumulated political capital and risk it, suggests Shekhar Gupta.
Is India becoming a National SUSPICION state?Rediff.com2 Oct 2020
'Suspect all, fix all.' 'It is this mindset that begins at the very top of an establishment and then trickles down and across,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
Modiji, time to suspend hostilities at homeRediff.com25 Sep 2020
In a time of crisis like this, a government needs its people and politics united. A nation of India's size and diversity can't fight a stronger rival with fraying social cohesion, observes Shekhar Gupta.
Can Narendra Modi's fort be ever breached?Rediff.com2 Sep 2020
'In India, a really popular and well-entrenched leader is not defeated by a rival.' 'Such a leader has to defeat himself,' observes Shekhar Gupta.
It doesn't matter that Kamala Harris is half-IndianRediff.com26 Aug 2020
What the Indian economy looks like next January will influence her view on India, not her genetics, notes Shekhar Gupta.
Did India's secularism die on August 5?Rediff.com20 Aug 2020
'Indian secularism doesn't deserve a tombstone. It needs a new shrine,' argues Shekhar Gupta.
The Politics of EducationRediff.com14 Aug 2020
'If there is one thing our politicians, especially those with their ear to the ground, understand, it is the reality that their voters want three things from their children's schooling: English, English, English', notes Shekhar Gupta.
India is paying for Modi's wooing of XiRediff.com3 Aug 2020
'China was a relationship from which Mr Modi had expected the most it seems.' 'It showed in a string of summits, and somewhat breathless celebration of Xi Jinping.' 'It was hasty and simplistic,' observes Shekhar Gupta.
UP is dragging India down with itRediff.com22 Jul 2020
'Uttar Pradesh, our largest state by population and the most powerful, is also the worst governed.'
Why Xi Jinping's fantasy will be crushed by realityRediff.com18 Jul 2020
'Ladakh is a tiny salami-slice issue.' 'The big one for China is Arunachal Pradesh, more than 83,000 sq km.' 'Do they imagine they can grab any of this by force?' 'In the 21st century, nursing those thoughts only means you need to get your heads examined.' 'It isn't going to happen,' declares Shekhar Gupta.
Have the Chinese got what they wanted?Rediff.com7 Jul 2020
'Could the Chinese have taken a leaf out of our book?' 'That their unprecedented build-up is their attempt at coercive diplomacy with India?' 'And if so, what is it that they could be expecting as a quid pro quo?' asks Shekhar Gupta.
Who will blink first? Xi or Modi?Rediff.com29 Jun 2020
'There is a compulsion to look hard, decisive, and risk-taking; start something; and then conclude it in a way you can claim victory.' 'That is not such an easy option against China,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
COVID-19 in India: Nobody is really in controlRediff.com26 Jun 2020
When BJP leaders, including Mr Modi's number two, Amit Shah, use the pandemic to launch an assault on state governments run by opposition parties, or to topple them, they are exploiting a grave crisis in cynical political self-interest, notes Shekhar Gupta.
What provoked the Chinese in LadakhRediff.com8 Jun 2020
We should have anticipated it on August 5 last year, when we made the big changes in J&K. Amit Shah left nothing to chance when he told Parliament that 'we will bring back Aksai Chin even at the cost of our lives'. 'Then, there were the new maps, objections to the CPEC going through Indian territory, the weather reports.' A broad territorial status quo had existed in Ladakh-Aksai Chin since 1962. India made its intention to change this public, notes Shekhar Gupta.
India's fight against COVID-19 has gone awryRediff.com4 Jun 2020
'The handling of the pandemic, under this totally constitutional and legal three-level dictatorship, has begun to show its downside,' observes Shekhar Gupta.
Is Modi losing his touch?Rediff.com22 May 2020
'You can't make the poor rich overnight.' 'Nor can you fly millions in planes.' 'But remember that word: Empathy.' 'Who in the BJP is speaking in that language to these millions?' 'Someone putting an arm of understanding, warmth, comfort around them?', asks Shekhar Gupta.
India is in a coma. Does Modi care?Rediff.com15 May 2020
'Flypasts, bands, helicopters dropping flowers over hospitals treating coronavirus patients are cute ideas for an Akshay Kumar film.' 'But when lakhs of workers at the lowest rung of the employment ladder would still be walking back home, this is the true 2020 equivalent of 'let them eat cake,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
COVID-19 Effect: Modi is unlikely to give up new powersRediff.com5 May 2020
Four decades of federal evolution made India more secure, but coronavirus is reversing that. Modi's central government has tasted power again and is unlikely to give it up, notes Shekhar Gupta.
COVID-19: It hasn't gone viral in IndiaRediff.com28 Apr 2020
'Our drains are not filled with bodies, our hospitals not run out of beds.' 'That good news, or absence of expected bad news, is the truth that so many in the international community, and also within India, seem unable to handle,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
Why the lockdown should not be extendedRediff.com22 Apr 2020
Is it sustainable?' 'Or is it like an overdose of a medicine that saves your life in the short run but kills you through long-lasting side-effects?' asks Shekhar Gupta.
How Modi handled the messaging of his biggest challengeRediff.com12 Apr 2020
'He has a gift none of his eight predecessors, from Manmohan Singh to Rajiv Gandhi, had: Being able to speak directly and convincingly to a large enough section of Indians who will take his word for gospel,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
Coronavirus: Tomorrow always comesRediff.com9 Apr 2020
'A very vast majority of us will catch it at some point, about 8 out of 10 won't feel much worse than a common cold's nuisance, if at all, but some will die.' 'A very, very vast majority, at least about 98 per cent of those infected, if not more, under any circumstances, will live through it,' observes Shekhar Gupta.
Journalism in the time of CoronavirusRediff.com5 Apr 2020
Coronavirus is the biggest story of our lives and a billion plus people expect us to be around, watching, reporting, editing, recording this for posterity and blowing the whistle to draw attention to injustices and State failures, notes Shekhar Gupta.
The root cause of a riotRediff.com12 Mar 2020
Delhi was just one riot. Add Bengal, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and you can count a few scores dead. It could, regrettably, be just the beginning of a very long, dark phase for India, notes Shekhar Gupta.
Why Modi suffers from NehruitisRediff.com9 Mar 2020
'Why does Mr Modi only attack Nehru from the Dynasty?' 'At one level, it is pure politics,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
What changed the India-US relationship foreverRediff.com3 Mar 2020
In the mid-1980s, India and the US struggled to arrive at sufficient confidence for Washington to even sell a supercomputer to India for monsoon prospecting. Now, the most sensitive military technologies, data, and intelligence resources are being shared. This would not have happened without that one, big deal that changed the fundamentals of India-US relations, notes Shekhar Gupta.
Will Shah succeed as home minister?Rediff.com28 Feb 2020
Amit Shah now enters an unfamiliar and interesting phase of his political career. His success or failure will henceforth be assessed based on his performance as a key minister, points out Shekhar Gupta.
India, you have a problemRediff.com1 Feb 2020
'The global corporates are concerned: You used to have policy predictability, now it's a yo-yo.' 'New taxes and regulations pop up, some disappear soon, many linger.' 'And now the return of old Socialist fixations such as import-substitution, swadeshi, small-trader mercantilist ideology.' 'On top of all that, your ministers admonish us,' points out Shekhar Gupta.
Return of the Bharatiya 'Baniya' PartyRediff.com31 Jan 2020
'The BJP has shown signs lately of returning to its trader mindset.' 'Several strong emotions get meshed in this: Nationalism, protectionism, mercantilism, and arrogance,' points out Shekhar Gupta.
The Reinvention of Arvind KejriwalRediff.com27 Jan 2020
'Brand Kejriwal-AAP have a long way to go even if they win another Delhi election...'
'It is a force nobody can ignore, not even Mr Modi, because it will keep punching above its weight,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
Youth disillusionment with Modi-2 has been rapid and deepRediff.com22 Jan 2020
'The economy is in a free fall.'
'And it's been declining for so long, so consistently, that the promise of growth and better days now looks a fantasy.' 'A mid-1970s kind of pessimism, even hopelessness, is growing among the young.' 'This isn't what Mr Modi promised them.' 'Their aspirations and needs are clear and present, and not being fulfilled,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
Do Indian Muslims matter?Rediff.com18 Jan 2020
'No country or society ever prospered or remained secure by marginalising more than one-sixth of its own,' warns Shekhar Gupta.
Will Modi go the Indira way?Rediff.com14 Jan 2020
'Sounds familiar? Barring inflation, much else looks, sounds, and feels more than a bit like 1974.' 'A phenomenally popular leader, with a party of unquestioning followers, a broken Opposition, a nationalist high and an economy in free fall, crippling joblessness,' recalls Shekhar Gupta.
The Rise of the New Indian MuslimRediff.com7 Jan 2020
'Not afraid to look Muslim, not shy of flaunting her nationalism.' 'With a willingness to fight carrying the Constitution, the Flag, the Anthem, Ambedkar, Gandhi and the chant of 'Hindustan Zindabad',' notes Shekhar Gupta.
Why Modi is so obsessed with PakistanRediff.com27 Dec 2019
'India serves itself poorly with its latter-day discovery of Pakistan as an instrument in domestic politics,' notes Shekhar Gupta.
Citizenship Amendment Act: BJP's next Ram MandirRediff.com16 Dec 2019
The BJP knows the CAA, combined with a fresh nationwide NRC process, is an idea that's dead on arrival. Where it lives on is as a divisive, polarising instrument as its rivals have to take a position against it and thereby be exposed to the charge of 'Muslim appeasement' again, points out Shekhar Gupta.
So, what are Modi's critics celebrating?Rediff.com12 Dec 2019
'Since the rise of the Modi-Shah paradigm, the BJP has followed a simple formula.' 'Sweep the Hindi heartland and the two big Western states, and you can rule India with a majority by just adding some little bits on the platter from here and there,' points out Shekhar Gupta.
Breaking Sikhs from India is a Pakistan fantasyRediff.com20 Nov 2019
It is bound to fail like the earlier ones, again causing Pakistan enormously more damage than to India, points out Shekhar Gupta.